Divorce is a challenging and often tumultuous time in anyone’s life. Amidst the emotional and logistical challenges, tax season can add an additional layer of complexity. Even though you may be in the process of divorcing, the IRS still considers you legally married for the entire tax year. This article aims to provide guidance on the two primary options for filing taxes during a divorce and offers advice on how to protect your interests, particularly concerning tax refunds.

Filing Options:

When it comes to filing taxes during a divorce, you have two primary options:

  1. Filing jointly: Despite your separation, you and your spouse can choose to file a joint tax return. This option may result in a higher refund compared to filing separately, but it requires cooperation and agreement on both sides.
  2. Filing separately: Alternatively, you can file as married, but filing separately. While this may seem like a straightforward solution, it’s essential to understand that it can lead to a lower refund and potentially higher taxes.

Consultation with a Tax Professional:

The decision between filing jointly or separately can have significant financial implications. Therefore, it’s crucial to consult with a tax professional to determine the best approach for your specific circumstances. A tax professional can help you understand the tax implications of each option and guide you toward the decision that is most advantageous for you.

Protecting Your Interests:

If you decide to file jointly, it’s essential to take steps to protect your interests, especially concerning any tax refund. You should ensure that any refund is either preserved in an attorney/client trust account by court order or that you and your spouse have a written agreement for how the refund will be divided. This agreement should be documented by your attorney, and you should address this issue well in advance of tax season to ensure you have a court order before the refund is issued.

Navigating tax season during a divorce can be challenging, but with the right guidance and preparation, you can protect your interests and ensure a fair outcome. By understanding your filing options, consulting with a tax professional, and taking steps to protect any tax refund, you can navigate this process with confidence. If you are facing a divorce and need assistance with tax-related issues, consider seeking legal advice from a family law attorney experienced in handling divorce matters.

Book a free consultation with JWB Family Law by calling (619) 234-6123 or visiting our website at https://jwbfamilylaw.com/.

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